Softball: Batting key to defeat Tulsa
The USA Today No. 9 Cougars travel to Oklahoma for a three game series against Conference USA rival Tulsa this weekend after splitting a doubleheader with Baylor on Wednesday.
"We need to play softball the Cougar way," head coach Kyla Holas said. "(We need) solid pitching performances, (to) make the routine plays defensively, have good at bats by focusing on choices at the plate and run bases aggressively, but smart."
The Golden Hurricane, 23-18 on the season and 8-7 in C-USA play, is coming off of a two game sweep of Texas-Arlington Wednesday.
"(Tulsa) is a good ball club," Holas said. "They won the (conference) championship two years ago. We are going to have to bring all three sides of the game."
Facing Tulsa will require strong at-bats, senior outfielder Laurie Wagner said. Wagner knocked out a grand slam and a two-run homerun in Game 1 against the Bears.
"We are going to try and drive the ball, and we’re going to try and keep up our winning conference season," she said. "They’re looking to come in and gain some ground. We have to be on our toes and make sure that we don’t take the loss into this weekend."
Confidence, not cockiness, is important to winning games, Wagner said.
"We have six or seven girls hitting over .300 right now. We have the most homeruns and the best ERA in the conference and we’re ranked No. 9 in the nation. It’s not hard be confident when your surrounded by good players," Wagner said.
After the Tulsa series, the Cougars will only have two more conference series to complete before the C-USA tournament. The home stretch requires focus and determination, said Holas.
"We knew that down the stretch, it is easy to get tired and injured," she said. "We told them to find a way each day. The survive-and-advance mentality – this is where every person on the team has a role and needs to do their job] so that the load is not too heavy for any one person. We have to do this together or we will fail."
The double header against the Golden Hurricane starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and Game 3 starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Tulsa, Okla.